Viacom to Buy Xfire for $102M

Viacom signed a deal to acquire Xfire Inc., owner of a social media application and Web site for hardcore gamers, for $102 million.

The company will be housed within Viacom’s MTV Networks family of Web holdings, which also includes Neopets, GoCityKids.com, iFilm, GameTrailers.com, MTV’s Overdrive and Comedy Central’s MotherLoad.

A spokesperson said that while Xfire has established relationships with advertisers, MTVN also plans to include Xfire in its portfolio during the upcoming TV upfront season.

“This is appealing on a lot of different levels,” she said. “We are going to close on this deal as soon as possible so that we can sell on it during our upfront. The multiplatform, integrated ads are everywhere in our brands.”

The biggest piece of Xfire’s business is a downloadable chunk of ad-supported software that lets gamers connect with one another and track their stats within various video game titles. Xfire users can see who among their contacts is online, then chat with them or join them in game play, among other activities.

Founded in 2004, Xfire has approximately four million registered users, of which one million are active. Members average 91 hours of activity per month, and over three hours per session. Xfire Inc. also has a Web site with discussion forums and a file download service that offers game demos, patches and trailers.

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